Published: 21st December 2019
Meet Assam's first transgender judge who fought to lift the 10-day-long internet ban
Owing to anti CAA protests, Assam was under an internet lockdown since December 11. The ban was revoked after 10 days on December 20 amidst protests across the country
On December 11, internet services were shut in Assam, after constant protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). After almost 10 days of the ban, the internet was restored in Assam on the morning on December 20. Of the lawyers who fought this case in the Gauhati High Court was Swati Bidhan Baruah, Assam's first transgender judge.
Baruah, along with senior Counsel Jayna Kothari and other petitioners and lawyers fought for the case, resulting in the High Court ordering the restoration of the internet by Thursday evening. "The government was supposed to restore it by yesterday. However, it had disobeyed the court's orders," she says.
Fighting the case wasn't difficult for her at all. Critiquing the government on its decision, she says, "The contention by the government was absolutely absurd. It wasn't legal for it to disrupt the internet."
As someone who opposes the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the CAA, she tells us the reasons that prompted her to fight the case. "Today, a lot of people are dependent on the internet for their livelihood. A lot of cab drivers have lost their business for 10 days. The students were finding it difficult to study. Also, a lot of them had to miss important exams, owing to the internet lockdown," she says. "However, things are back to normal now," she adds.